Friday, March 7, 2014

A sunny morning along the Connecticut River

Peregrine Falcon, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Mar 7, 2014
Peregrine Falcon, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Mar 7, 2014
Peregrine Falcon, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Mar 7, 2014
Peregrine Falcon, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Mar 7, 2014
Common Merganser, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Mar 7, 2014
American Robins (part of group of 100+ in small area), Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Mar 7, 2014
Eastern Coyote, Honey Pot, Hadley, MA, Mar 7, 2014
Greater Scaup, Connecticut River, Hadley, MA, Mar 7, 2014
Although the morning started off around zero once again it warmed up to above freezing eventually with lots of sunshine and little wind.  I once again spent my time trying to track down waterfowl at various spots along the Connecticut River with stops at North Lane, the Honey Pot, below the Coolidge Bridge, Aqua Vitae Road, Mitch's Way, Hadley Falls Canal Park and below the Holyoke Dam.  Ian was suppose to join me this morning but was unable to make it...we will have to catch up next time he is out this way.  Highlights for the morning included the following: 

Honey Pot- Six Common Mergansers, a Peregrine Falcon consuming breakfast atop a telephone pole, 13 Horned Larks and 110+ American Robins in small stand of sumac.

Coolidge Bridge area- 16 Black Ducks, 285+ Mallards, a Ring necked Duck, a Greater Scaup, a Hooded Merganser and a Common Merganser.

Aqua Vitae Road-14 Horned Larks

Hadley Falls Canal Park- a Long tailed Duck seen distantly upriver almost always a few blurry photos...another new bird for the county this year (at 96 now), three Hooded Mergansers and six Common Mergansers.

Holyoke Dam- 86 Canada Geese (only spot I had any geese), a dozen Mallards, two female Buffleheads, 49 Common Goldeneyes, two Hooded Mergansers, 6 Common Mergansers for waterfowl plus at least 76 Ring billed Gulls and nine Herring Gulls.  Also had a Common Raven chased downriver by a crow and at least one Fish Crow calling.

After the various stops along the river I headed home and got Wilson and we went for a long walk at Covey WMA.  Nothing unusual found during our time there.  A stop a bit further south along the Swift River turned up 14 Hooded Mergansers and a stop at the marsh below Beaver Lake in Ware turned up a couple Black Ducks, seven Common Mergansers plus a handful of Mallards.  The last stop was at Winsor Dam to see if anything of note was moving north on the southerly winds turned up 137 crows moving northeast around midday during about 20 minutes of watching.  No luck finding any Black Vultures today but I'm hopeful one will turn up soon.

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